Linenhall Square 1938

It’s almost seventy years ago now and only the child on the left has survived.

Few people those days – especially in Linenhall Square – could afford a camera.  It was a passing photographer, no doubt earning a crust for himself, who offered to photograph Margaret Quinn and Rose McCann and their young charges.

Rose had her young nephew on her lap. 

Eamonn McCann passed away sadly some seven years ago, suffering from cancer.

Margaret is nursing her son Terence.  Her husband Terence was serving in the British Army at the time.

The gas lamp, upon which the children were wont to swing, can be seen in the background.  Some more children can be seen playing to the left, behind Mrs Quinn.

It is obvoius that these homes provided excellent accommodation at the time.  The low building in the background is believed to have been a Fire Service residence, and was once the home of Tommy McDermott.  Tommy was tortured with children scaling up onto his roof!

The residents of Linenhall Square also had their own hospital and later, fire station, not to mention acres of safely-enclosed playing space.  I am reliably informed that the town Fire Station, before that, was located on the south side of the Town Hall (facing The Mall/Hill Street). 

Then the siren was, as Martin Payne here speculated, on the roof of that building.

Formerly the Fire Engine was drawn by horses.  Pressure for the hose was supplied by steam, generated after the fire beneath the on-board boiler had burned sufficiently to convert water to steam.  Often the real fire had by then taken so strong a hold that the burning building was beyond saving!


Today [Wednesday 30 May 07] Funeral masses were offered for the repose of the souls of three recently-deceased prominent Newry people:

Paddy Curran, once of Castle Street – brother of Councillor Brendan, Gabby, Noel etc.

Alice McGivern, O’Neill’s Avenue and

Kathleen Lundy, wife of Wilber [Derrybeg Drive] and a former resident of Linenhall Square.

Others recently deceased, as listed in the Parish Bulletin are;

Moninna Donnelly, Fifth Avenue, Derrybeg Park

James Sheridan, College Gardens

Eileen Feely, Priory Crescent

Helen McGeeney, Carnbane Gardens

Please offer up a prayer for the happy repose of their souls.

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